Neerabup resource recovery facility back at work composting waste


Plant manager Alan Turner with some of the compost the Neerabup plant is again producing from household waste.
Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d454440
Neerabup resource recovery facility back at work composting waste
Neerabup resource recovery facility back at work composting waste
Plant manager Alan Turner with some of the compost the Neerabup plant is again producing from household waste. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d454440

GENERAL household waste is being churned into compost again at the Neerabup Resource Recovery Facility.

Rubbish collected from green-lidded bins in the cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo goes to the Neerabup facility where organic matter is turned into compost and non-organic waste is sifted out then sent to landfill.

Last year, Mindarie Regional Council (MRC) temporarily closed the facility, operated by BioVision 2020, for about 14 weeks to replace the large composters that had developed cracks shortly after it opened in 2009.

MRC education manager Geoff Atkinson said the plant, which reopened last November, was fully operational again.

Annually, MRC receives about 300,000 tonnes of waste from its member councils – the cities of Joondalup, Perth, Stirling, Vincent and Wanneroo and the towns of Cambridge and Victoria Park.

The Neerabup plant receives more than 100,000 tonnes of this waste, from which it aims to create about 30,000 tonnes of compost.

“When processing losses – largely water vapour and gases – are taken into account, a diversion rate from landfill of over 51 per cent is achieved through this process,” Mr Atkinson said.

A Butler resident submitted questions to the Wanneroo council in May, asking if it had considered implementing a system to collect food scraps and organic waste to prevent them heading to landfill and creating methane gas.

“In this current environment, collecting and composting food scraps and organic matter not only helps reduce greenhouse gases but the resulting compost can also be sold,” he said.

The City’s assets director Harminder Singh said that as a member of MRC, the City was already committed to reducing waste to landfill.

“This is currently achieved through both recycling and through a resource recovery facility which provides an opportunity to remove organic waste from the waste stream before landfill,” he said.

“The composted material is then used by soil manufacturers as a soil enhancer, which prevents the breakdown of the material by anaerobic digestion and the resultant generation of methane.”

Mr Singh said food scraps collection was being reviewed through the development of a long-term strategic waste management plan, which invited community input in April and May.

In a bid to improve the quality of compost produced, MRC launched its ‘no glass’ campaign late last year, putting stickers on bins and leaflets in letterboxes targeting 170,000 households in the cities of Joondalup, Wanneroo, Vincent and Town of Victoria Park.

MRC’s website said the bid to reduce glass in general waste bins arose from waste truck audits that found “significant quantities of glass, particularly bottles and jars, presenting in every truck load”.

“Residents have responded positively to this campaign by reducing the amount of glass they place in the green-top bin and as a result less glass is finding its way into the compost produced,” Mr Atkinson said.

“However, still too much glass is being found in these bins and people are encouraged to put all glass into their yellow-top recycling bin.”